Upper Arlington News

Public hearing set for April 14

Columbia Gas plans to replace two UA pipelines

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Columbia Gas plans to replace gas pipelines in two Upper Arlington neighborhoods as part of a statewide program to upgrade infrastructure.

A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 14, in the downstairs theater at the Tremont Library to provide residents with more information about the projects that company officials said will temporarily affect services for some local customers.

The company plans to replace its Edgemont and Devon pipeline and its Westmont and Northam pipeline as part of an Accelerated Main Replacement Program (AMRP).

The first phase of the Edgemont and Devon work will affect residents and businesses in an area bounded by Cambridge Boulevard, Guilford Road, Arlington Avenue and Stanford Road.

Phase two of that project will consist of work in an area bounded by Arlington Avenue, Waltham Road, Andover Road and Stanford Road.

The Westmont and Northam project will affect residents and businesses in an area north of Lane Avenue, west of North Star Road, south of Northam Road and east of Brandon Road.

"It's part of a larger investment," said Shanelle Hinkle-Moore, Columbia Gas external affairs specialist. "Columbia Gas is investing $2 billion over 25 years to replace bare-steel and cast-iron pipe with a new type of plastic pipe.

"Part of this is to bring an increased reliability, and there are enhanced safety features, as well."

More specific timelines for the work are expected to be presented during the April 14 meeting.

However, Upper Arlington Community Affairs Director Emma Speight said both pipeline projects are expected to begin this month or next.

According to a city press release, the work on affected streets will involve running new service lines up to homes and relocating interior gas meters to the outside.

At each stage, Columbia Gas representatives are expected to contact residents in advance in an effort to locate any sprinkler systems or invisible fences before work begins, and to determine the best locations for new meters.

"People will notice preliminary construction (work) to locate where other utilities are in the ground," Hinkle-Moore said. "The work we do at individual residences will require the temporary (interruption) of gas service for about two hours.

"They'll not be without service longer than that two-hour window of time, and we'll work with them to find out what times are most convenient for them," she said. "We're also going to be working with customers to restore landscaping or any other disruptions to their properties."

Speight said the projects are being conducted completely by Columbia Gas, and the city will incur no costs for the work.

She added that much of the work is expected to take place in front yards and right-of-way medians, so roadways in the affected areas will remain "open to traffic as much as possible."

"If all goes to plan, service is only interrupted when they switch the service lines into the homes over," Speight said. "Households are notified in advance to schedule this part of the work."

Speight added that Upper Arlington City Engineer David Parkinson will be on hand at the April 14 meeting "to provide a quick overview of this year's construction projects."

In addition to modernizing the gasline infrastructure in the areas, Hinkle-Moore said the projects will increase gas pressure from "low" to "medium," which should better serve nearby businesses.

"We started the (AMRP) program in 2008," she said. "We prioritized the projects based on the age and condition of the pipe. A lot of these pipes have been in the ground for decades."

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